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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for January 12, 2006

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

CPA considering legal action against Pound

The Association of professional riders CPA has released a statement saying that it is considering legal action against the president of World Anti-Doping Agency Richard Pound, who commented on the use of doping products in cycling in UK's Guardian on October 26 last year. In a debate offering platforms for two opposing viewpoints, the paper asked "Does cycling take its drug problem seriously enough?" and Pound argued that the professional sport was in denial of the scope in which performance-enhancing drugs were used, and therefore unable to solve the problem.

"This drug use is not the accidental ingestion of a tainted supplement by an individual athlete," Pound said. "It is planned and deliberate cheating, with complex methods, sophisticated substances and techniques, and the active complicity of doctors, scientists, team officials and riders. There is nothing accidental about it. All this cheating goes on under the supposedly watchful eyes of cycling officials, who loudly proclaim that their sport is drug-free and committed to remaining so. Based on performance, they should not be allowed outdoors without white canes and seeing-eye dogs."

The CPA wrote a letter to Pound asking him to take back his possibly defamatory comments, but as the WADA president refused to do so, the rider's association has announced it was considering "taking the necessary steps, as planned."

Hondo to appeal in civil courts

Danilo Hondo has vowed to appeal his two-year doping suspension in the Swiss civil court system. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled on Tuesday that Hondo would be suspended until April 1, 2007, and unable to ride for a Pro Tour team for another two years. He was tested positive for the drug Carphedon in March 2005.

"The decision says that at the hearing on November 22 I was unable to give an explanation for the substance that was proved to be found in me," Hondo said. "I couldn't do that because I still do not know how it came to be in my body. In addition, the Court has ordered the World Anti-Doping Agency (...) to change their doping list, because the active substance in Carphedon is listed under a different name there."

"The World Anti-Doping Agency has brutally accomplished its goal," continued Hondo's attorney, Michael Lehner. He said that he expects the case to be heard before the highest Swiss civil court "in a few weeks or even months." Hondo will continue training in the hopes of salvaging his career.

Hondo had hoped to re-sign with his former team, Gerolsteiner, but the sponsor made it clear that he would be welcomed back only if he was fully acquitted of the doping charges. "We have taken note of the CAS decision, which is tragic for Danilo Hondo as a person," said team spokesman Jörg Grünefeld. "We are very sorry for this probable end of his athletic career, but our position in this case is clear and unmistakable."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Watt makes Comm Games after TT win

Kathy Watt (VIC)
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image) Kathy Watt (VIC) looked good from the start

Kathy Watt has made Australia's Commonwealth Games team after notching up a win in the Australian Time Trial Championships in Mt. Torrens on Wednesday. She delivered and outstanding performance on what was considered a very demanding circuit.

For the 41 year-old Watt, it was her 31st national road or track title, and one that she was delighted with. "This is as exciting as winning my first national title," she said. "I'm really excited by this as I really wanted to make the Commonwealth Games team and when I saw I could win my way into the team and make it for sure I set my sights on this back in September."

Cycling Australia Women's Coach, Warren McDonald said that Watt's ride was impressive, and accepted her position as part of the Commonwealth Games team - something that past Australian coaches have not always been happy with. "Cycling Australia, for the betterment of the sport, wants to see the best riders take the to the start line and Kathy has come up with the performance, so CA and the public should recognise that," he said. "I recognise that as a national coach."

In the men's race, Nathan O'Neill blew away the competition to claim his seventh national time trial title, beating CSC's Luke Roberts by nearly three minutes and Carvalhelhos-Boavista's Ben Day by 3'12. "It wasn't easy at all. It was really, really solid. I just kept rolling my over all the way through, trying to put the wind up everybody else and make them realise they would have to fight for it," he said after his ride. "I didn't want to give them a look in from the start so I hit them really hard on the first lap. I don't know if everybody cracked or if I just got a pretty decent gap but I just put it on cruise control after a little while," he added.

In the U23 men's TT, Sydneysider Shaun Higgerson held off Tasmanian Mark Jamieson by 26 seconds, with Queenslander Miles Olman finishing third at half a minute.

Click here for full results, report and photos of the Men's, Women's, and U23 Men's time trials. The championships continue on Friday with the women's road race.

T-Mobile Women's Team enjoying first training camp

The newly founded T-Mobile women's team is currently at its first ever training camp on Mallorca, and according to sporting director Andrzej Bek, "The riders are all committed, and, if at all, have to be held back in their enthusiasm." Bek noted that the riders first met at a team-building session in the off-season. "I could tell then and there that the chemistry within the team was right," he added.

Bek also found out that directing a women's team is not more difficult than directing a men's team, only different. "Women are very sensitive, emotional and need to be addressed more sensitively. You have to treat each rider individually and look for the right way to put your ideas across," he said.

T-Mobile's ladies received their new Giant bikes for the first time on Sunday. "They are sensational," Bek added. "It doubles the fun. The women are absolutely delighted with them, they've never had it so good."

The team's schedule includes the Geelong Tour in Australia and the World Cup race there in February, followed by the Tour of New Zealand and another World Cup race in March. "After that we return to Europe and make our debut on the continent at the 'Primavera,' Milan-San Remo on March 18."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork announces US Continental Team

AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork Pro Cycling Team, a US Continental team based in Athens, Georgia, has announced its sponsors and roster for 2006. Known as Aerospace Engineering Group-VMG in 2005, the team rose to prominence in its first year in the professional ranks when Serbian Ivan Stevic led the team to several results. Building on last year's success, the team will expand its roster and support staff with the help of an increase in sponsor commitment.

This year, three companies share in title support of the team: Aerospace Engineering Group (AEG), Toshiba, and JetNetwork. AEG Group, which provides service and sales for private, commercial, and military aircraft in the US (Miami), Asia, and Europe, supports the team for the fourth consecutive year. Toshiba, the fifth largest technology company in the world, brings name brand recognition and increased support in its fifth year of sponsorship. JetNetwork, a first year sponsor, is a leader in private aviation and offers a range of services, including private jet membership, aircraft sales and management, and private aircraft charters.

Adding different types of riders to its roster, the team will have more possibilities in 2006. Nebojsa Jovanavic, a stage winner at UCI events in Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia, headlines this year's new recruits and plans to take up where compatriot Ivan Stevic left off. Sprinter Emile Abraham rejoins the team after a stint with Monex and will look to add to his growing list of National victories.

2003 Elite National Criterium Champion Keith Norris also returns to the team and will focus on replicating his big win at the professional level. Eric Murphy and Hugh Moran will continue from last year's squad to challenge on the climbs, and cyclo-cross standouts Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks will bring their off-road skills to exclusive road events.

After gathering for a training camp in Georgia during the latter half of January, the team will start into its 2006 programmes made out of National and UCI calendars in February with intentions to land on podiums throughout the Americas and at select European events.

The full team roster is as follows:

Emile Abraham (Tri), Chris Deluise (USA), Chris Frederick (USA), Esad Hasanovic (Scg), Nebojsa Jovanavic (Scg), Eric Keim (USA), Bruno Langlois (Can), Viktor Laza (Scg), Hugh Moran (USA), Eric Murphy (USA), Keith Norris (USA), Prokic Predrag (Scg), Jake Rubelt (USA), AJ Smith (USA), Frank Travieso (Cub), Ryan Trebon (USA), Barry Wicks (USA) and Greg Wolf (USA). Managing Director is Ravi Rajcoomar.

UK's first UCI women's team announced

The UK’s first UCI Trade Team for women has today been announced. Team FBUK has gained professional team status and has started 2006 as they mean to go on. With a strong international line up in its team, it is confident it can build upon the success of 2005 and form a strong and stable team for the future.

The year has started in style with the FBUK's Helen Wyman winning the UK National Cyclo-cross Championships on Sunday with a dominant performance in the women’s race. Behind her, teammates Gabby Day and Clare Gross placed fourth and sixth respectively. Louise Day was also on the podium as she picked up a silver medal in the veterans race.

With the past few weeks being a waiting game to see if the UCI would grant professional status to the team, Team Manager Stefan Wyman has added two major signings to the squad for 2006. Line Ramsrud of Norway, who appeared as a guest rider for the team in the 2005 Tour of Brittany, has joined on a full time basis along with former Luxembourg National cyclo-cross and road champion Suzie Godart. Both riders bring international experience to the squad in what will be a hectic year of both UK and Continental racing.

UCI Trade Team status should allow the team to gain starting positions in some of the world’s biggest races and therefore provide the riders with opportunities to race at the highest level every week. The past few weeks have also seen the team management increase with Rene Groot of Holland and Marc Godart added to the roster.

"When we set this team up two years ago, it was a distant dream to gain trade team status,"said team manager Stefan Wyman. "This has now been achieved and we are already seeing the rewards. Two major signings and international sponsors coming on board look likely to help secure the long-term future of the team. We’ve even got a fan club now with members in several different countries."

Those international sponsors include German company Abus, who have provided great support to the team in the past few weeks including crash helmets and Tim Harris Import Exports in Belgium.

More on Team FBUK can be found at: www.teamfbuk.com.

English lessons for European pros

Do you speak English? More and more pro cyclists are being forced to answer, "yes, more or less" to that question. T-Mobile tested all its riders at its autumn team meeting and prescribed lessons. The Italian-German team Milram has also chosen English as its team language. Now the Swiss Phonak team is jumping on the bandwagon. The riders aren't only training their legs everyday at the training camp on Mallorca, they're training their heads, too. Three English teachers give daily 90-minute lessons every morning.

"The English course will help the team's mood," said team manager John Lelangue. The team's website noted that the students seem to share this opinion: "After only the first lesson there were many smiling faces as Spaniards, French and Swiss attempted to speak English with each other."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Jayco Bay Classic changes time slot on Aust TV

A two-and-a-half hour special on the recent Jayco Bay Classic series of street criteriums held in and around Geelong, Australia, has been moved to a new time slot of this Sunday at 1pm. Initially, broadcaster Network 10 had scheduled the Bay Classic special to be screened on January 22, but this would conflict with TV coverage of the final stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under.

Race organiser John Trevorrow said Network 10 had moved the Bay Classic special forward to this Sunday, January 15, to allow cycling fans a chance to watch both programs in full.

Cyclists kick in against breast cancer

In 2005, cycling component manufacturer, the USA's Chris King, produced a run of pink anodised headsets to coincide with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink is the colour that breast cancer survivors wear to display their solidarity with other survivors, and to show their determination to find a cure for the disease.

King's pink headset donated US$2 from the sale of any 'Pink, Pretty and Strong' item from September 1-December 31, 2005, to its local breast cancer charity, the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The online retailer, Competitive Cyclist, decided to support this initiative and sold the pink versions of CK's 'NoThreadset' and '2Nut' threaded headset for $149.99, some $20 more than the RRP. The retailer then kicked in another $20, so a total of $42 went towards breast cancer charities (see background.)

Yesterday, Competitive Cyclist did the sums and announced a donation of US$2,640 to the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of Setauket, NY, which supports both new and established researchers investigating the causes, prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

"Legend" Sinibaldi passes away

The "Legend", John Sinibaldi, passed away in his sleep in the morning of January 10, 2006. Sinibaldi, who won the US National Championships 18 times, was 92 years old, and had a short battle with lung cancer. Luckily he was not in any pain, and died peacefully with his family by his side. Sinibaldi's legacy as a cyclist will not soon be forgotten: on top of being National champion 18 times, he was an Olympian in 1932 and 1936, and his cycling career spanned an amazing 77 years. He won his first national level race in 1928; his last national championship was this year at the USA Cycling Masters National Road Championships.

However, his cycling legacy extends far beyond his own accomplishments, as he had spent the better part of the past 30 years promoting cycling as a sport, encouraging new cyclists to participate and helping all cyclists realize their potential.

One of Sinibaldi's last volunteer roles was the annual Diabetes Challenge bicycle ride to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. His wife Betty had diabetes for the last 15 years of her life, and Sinibaldi always supported the efforts of the Diabetes Challenge to raise money for the ADA through cycling. So, in lieu of flowers, his own request was that donations be made to the American Diabetes Association, and mailed to: American Diabetes Association C/O E. J. Bradley 101 Dunbar Ave., Suite F Oldsmar, FL 34677 Services will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2006 at 1pm, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Park Tool engineer directs Arrowhead Ultra Marathon

Pierre Ostor, Park Tool's lead engineer will take a break from designing bicycle tools to direct the second annual Arrowhead Ultra Marathon. The 135-mile event begins on February 6 in International Falls, MN and ends 30 to 60 hours later at the Bay View Lodge on Lake Vermillion.

The course follows a hilly State multi-purpose Trail under extreme winter conditions. International Falls is often the coldest place in the USA with February temperatures as low as 60°F below zero. The contestants can bike, ski or run the race on foot and must be self-sufficient, carrying their own food, water, and accommodations. Last year's winner, Matthew Evingson completed the course in 28 hours and 54 minutes. Thirty-one hearty souls have already signed up to compete in this year's race.

Anyone else interested in participating in this event can learn more by visiting www.arrowheadultra.com.

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